WW1 1919

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The Basket

Senior Master Sergeant
Jun 27, 2007
Had Germany fought on then where was end game? Although successful in the East the fall of Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria Hungary was game over.
The mutiny of the fleet plus the political turmoil back home meant the end even if Germany was not occupied or that the German army was not 'defeated in the field'.

Had Germany fought a defensive war in 1918 and not gone with the Kaiserschlacht then fighting into 1919 was a possibility.
If germany had not surrendered the fighting had to continue.
To make this interesting you would have to make at least some assumptions...….The Turksbulgarians and Austrians hanging on, and the fleet not mutinying. The balancing up of that is that Italy is in better shape and Nivelle doesn't attempt his insane offensives.

So with the other fronts teetering, but not collapsing, and the germans staying defensive, there will be attacks into 1919. by 1919, American manpower will be decisive, new theories and application on tanks, a much better grasp on combined arms operations, above all else though Germany almost on her knees from the blockade.

no surrender by the germans leaves them exposed to occupation and unconditional surrender. Exactly what Pershing and monash and im sure many others wanted. Germany totally and demonstrably defeated.

Would have cost a lost, but saved a lot more. .
If Austria had been better at governing as well as allocating it's manpower in a better fashion and had Bulgaria been better supported by it's Central powers allies, things may have had a different look to the war's outcome.

As it is, the Austrians always made sure their politicans and officers ate well while the peasants starved and if there ever was a classic point in history, the French revolution would be it - but somehow, the Austrians missed the memo.
In my view the British Empire had pretty much all gravy and would have happily seen its European rivals smashed.

France Germany Russia Turkey Austria-Hungary no longer a threat.
Middle East ready to be taken
Royal Navy still rules the waves
British Empire intact and stronger than ever.
New alliances with Japan and Italy.

Of course problems....
Irish independent state
Huge debts... bankruptcy. That sort of thing.
And perhaps the Greatest threat of all!!!!
The United States of America!!!!!
A naval arms race with USA could have occurred and with Japanese help could have been a huge issue for USA. Fortunately the USA went back to sleep and such thoughts disappeared. But Britain got some good stuff out of the war.
If you discount the war dead and bankruptcy. More Britons died in WW1 than WW2. So certainly was more devastating in lives lost.
As far as the Naval Arms race, I think it would have been a bigger issue for U.K. than the U.S., considering the powerhouse economy in America, someone better versed in the economics of the period can set me straight. But it's my assumption that the U.S. would have been able to go head to head in an arms race with both Britain and Japan.

Again, if I'm off course feel free to correct me.

As far as 1919 goes, I agree it would have been costlier in the short term but perhaps saved us a second go with Hitler and his crowd. Had Germany been soundly beaten, devastated and occupied like in '45, things might have gone off differently in the '20's and '30's. I know Pershing et. al. had plans for major offensives and hoped to wrap up the war in 1919, I'm not sure they were surprised at the German surrender in 1918 but it might have caught them a little off guard.
Lost in the discussion is that the German civilian population was quite literally starving. I forget the actual number, but it was in the thousands that died due to starvation and millions had long term/permanent effects of starvation and disease from it. And this went on quite awhile even after the armistice.
The British sea blockade saw to it.

While Germany may not have necessarily been defeated militarily on the field as yet, they sure as heck were done in as a whole.
When war broke out in August 1914, the British government moved immediately to strangle the supply of raw materials and foodstuffs to Germany and its allies. This marked the beginning of the 'hunger blockade', a war of attrition that lasted beyond the Armistice and didn’t end until Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919.

Armed with contraband lists, British naval ships spent the war patrolling the North Sea, intercepting and detaining thousands of merchant ships thought to be harboring cargo bound for enemy shores. This aggressive display of maritime power aroused considerable anger in neutral countries, many of whom enjoyed strong trading links with Germany.

Tension was heightened after the North Sea was declared a British 'military area' on 3 November 1914. Despite complaints about breaches of international law, however, most neutral merchant ships agreed to put into British ports for inspection and were subsequently escorted - minus any 'illegal' cargo bound for Germany - through the British-laid minefields to their final destinations.
The blockade strategy worked effectively. As a memorandum to the War Cabinet on 1 January 1917 stated, very few supplies were reaching Germany or its allies - either through the North Sea or through other areas such as Austria's Adriatic ports, subject to a French blockade since the first month of the war.

Germany attempted to counter the crippling effects of the blockade with a new weapon that seemed capable of subverting British naval superiority: the submarine. For much of the war, German submarines were deployed only intermittently against neutral and Allied shipping. Their devastating impact was offset by the international anger that such attacks aroused.
In spite of the international uproar, starting from 1 February 1917, the German naval command adopted a policy of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare'. Despite initial successes, this high-risk strategy did not work. It finally provoked the USA into entering the war against the Central Powers and its worst effects were successfully countered by the introduction of a convoy system.

Due to the 'hunger blockade', by 1915, German imports had fallen by 55% from pre-war levels. Aside from causing shortages in important raw materials such as coal and various non-ferrous metals, the blockade cut off fertilizer supplies that were vital to German agriculture.
Staple foodstuffs such as grain, potatoes, meat and dairy products became so scarce by the winter of 1916 that many people subsisted on a diet of ersatz products that ranged from so-called 'war bread' (Kriegsbrot) to powdered milk. The shortages caused looting and food riots, not only in Germany, but also in the Habsburg cities of Vienna and Budapest, where wartime privations were felt equally acutely.

The German government made strenuous attempts to alleviate the worst effects of the blockade. The Hindenburg program, introduced in December 1916, was designed to raise productivity by ordering the compulsory employment of all men between the ages of 17 and 60. A complicated system of rationing, first introduced in January 1915, aimed to ensure that at least minimum nutritional needs were met. In larger cities, 'war kitchens' provided cheap meals en masse to impoverished local citizens.
Such schemes, however, enjoyed only limited success. The average daily diet of 1,000 calories was insufficient even for small children. Disorders related to malnutrition - scurvy, tuberculosis and dysentery - were common by 1917.Official statistics attributed nearly 763,000 wartime deaths in Germany to starvation caused by the Allied blockade. This figure excluded the further 150,000 German victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which inevitably caused disproportionate suffering among those already weakened by malnutrition and related diseases.

Although the blockade made an important contribution to the Allied victory, many of its devastating side effects cast a long shadow over post-war German society and like the Versailles Treaty contributed to the rise of Nazism.
The Washington Naval Treaty brought an end to any naval arms race which was certainly a good thing for Britain as building new battleships or getting in a contest with the USA would have been damaging.
The Nazis used any hardship for propaganda so all grist to the mill.
My view is that the armistice or the treaty of Versailles did not inevitably cause the raise of Hitler.

Using poison gas and unrestricted sub warfare showed the Germany could play loose with international law as well.
The Washington Naval Treaty was the outcome of political tensions between the U.S. and Britain. In 1921-22, the two were on the verge of recalling ambassadors. Some thought it was the verge of war. I no longer have the old books thanks to Katrina but info should still be around.
All the players had an interest in the London Naval Treaty. Not least of which was that the naval arms race was a major cause of friction before 1914, and would again ignite if a new naval arms race erupted after 1919.
There was no closer relationship than that which existed between Britain and the US. It is often referrd to as the “Special relationship”. There have been differences over the past 100 years, none more pronounced perhaps than that which existed after Versailles, but at no stage was there ever any thought of a need to go to war. The US did have contingency plans for war with just about any protagonist …..the so called “Rainbow war Plans”
Historically, variations to the rainbow plans were applied to the following situations
War Plan Grey
There were two parts to the plan, the first dealt with combat in the Caribbean and the second, and the second dealt with invading the Portuguese azores
War Plan Brown
Dealt with an uprising in the PI.
War Plan Tan
Intervention in Cuba. A variation was dusted off and used in the cuban missile crisis.
War Plan Red
Not used, plans in the event of an attack by Britiain (with sub variants Crimson, Scarlet, Ruby, Garnet, and Emerald for British dominions)
War Plan Orange
Plan for Japan. In heavily modified form it was eventually used as the basis for the US counteroffensive in the PTO
War Plan Red-Orange
Not used. Considered a two front war plan with the United States (Blue) opposing Japan (Orange) and the British Empire (Red) simultaneously. This analysis led to the understanding that the United States didn't have the resources to fight a two front war, and it would make sense to focus on one front, probably in the Atlantic. Ultimately this was the decision made in the Plan Dog memo..
War Plan Yellow
Not used. Dealt with war in China—specifically, anticipating a repeat of the Boxer rebellion War Plan Yellow would deploy the US Army in coalition with other imperial forces to suppress indigenous Unrest.
War Plan Gold
Not used Involved war with France, and/or France's Caribbean.
War Plan Green
Not used. Involved war with Mexico or what was known as "Mexican Domestic Intervention" in order to defeat rebel forces and establish a pro-American government. War Plan Green was officially canceled in 1946.
War Plan Indigo
Involved an occupation of Iceland. In 1941, while Denmark was under German occupation, the US carried this plan substantially, sending in garrison units, and relieving British units already stationed there.
War Plan Purple
Not used. Dealt with invading a Sth American republic.
War Plan Violet
Not sure if any part of this was used, (occupation of parts of Brazil for ASW patrols
War Plan White
Not used Dealt with a domestic uprising in the US, and later evolved to Operation Garden plot -, the general US military plan for civil disturbances and peaceful protests. Parts of War Plan White were used to deal with the protest marches that followed the depression.
War Plan Blue
Covered defensive plans and preparations that the United States should take in times of peace.
One scenario is that USA goes battleship loopy and builds as many modern battleship as they can. Leading Japan and UK into a pact which means they have to combine fleets to match the new American one.

Which USA finds itself in a 2 ocean naval war. Easy how things can get out of hand and a war between. USA UK is not far fetched as the history between the two is plenty war!

The blockade of Germany was a military operation which took time but eventually successful and caused the outcome desired. Germany was almost successful in its own naval blockade of the UK with unrestricted sub warfare but almost is only almost.

In my view UK could not allow Germany to build a navy comparable to the Royal Navy and that's why UK took part in WW1. Had WW1 been a land war then it would have been easier to stay out. Had the USA also built a large fleet then history would have repeated itself.
Should we have left the Germans in charge of their new eastern territories as a balance against the new Bolshevik Revolution?

was asking for unconditional surrender against the western interest?

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